In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Saeed Attar, referred to the increase in the level of hostility between Russia and the United States and the consequences of Biden’s trip to Ukraine and the suspension of Russia’s participation in the “New START” treaty, adding: Post-Soviet Russia, after the end of the euphoric era of strategic cooperation with the West, feels that the West is surrounded and threatened militarily and politically by means of NATO pressure and the liberal democracy, even at the level of the existential threat of that country.
He added: On the other hand, the West, especially the United States which has had an almost constant approach to its enemies and rivals for many decades, and by weakening them at the same time, is trying to present a magnified threat. In the same way, during the Soviet era, it brought that global power to collapse with the help of the system’s own errors and turned it into a regional power. Of course, Moscow also contributes to the credibility of those threats by withdrawing from the “New START” treaty and threatening others with nuclear weapons.
The university professor stated that the United States has been inciting Russia to intervene directly in Ukraine through the expansion of NATO’s borders for years in order to confine it in the east of that country, adding: Ukraine is definitely the land of Russia’s strategic mistakes; because even in case of victory, in the long run the economy and then the security of Russia will be worn out. Russia has had, and still has, a historical problem, and that is the vastness of its land and its open borders. For centuries, this issue has forced Moscow to build a large army, and for more than a century, it has struggled with the issue of the cost of maintaining a large army, which is a burden on the country’s economy and destroys it.
Attar called the focus on military technologies with the help of oil and gas money, lagging behind new civilian technologies and trying to create large buffer zones in the plains of Europe as part of Russia’s history during the Soviet era and said: What the security-oriented mentality of Russian decision makers never correctly understood is that, in the end, the ultimate determinant is neither missiles nor the establishment of buffer zones in the Great Plains, but the economy.
While enumerating the components of the US global strategy, he explained: They want the Russians pay all their attention to the Baltic region and Ukraine, Europe, in political terms, should not be so independent power and in terms of economy and energy, should rely on the US, and pays the cost of geopolitical tensions in its surrounding areas, an example of which is the 110 billion euro loss of Germany due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. The US also wants China to be involved in its internal issues and border concerns and learn the necessary lessons from Russia’s mistakes in attacking Ukraine.
Saying that the US is trying to manage regional powers through regional balances, and the US enemies in different regions be involved in their own internal problems and crises, and their national power be worn out, Attar continued: The decline of the economy of those countries and evacuation of average class forces and their specialists is a step in this direction. In the recent example, in addition to numerous losses to the Russian economy, more than one million Russians, mostly industrial workers, entrepreneurs, and professionals, emigrated from Russia.
Remembering that the US did the same with its other enemies in the past decades, he added: Of course, the US strategies do not necessarily go forward, but the American system has made utmost efforts to realize those four strategies, and for their implementation, it pays special attention to the mistakes of other parties. In terms of its strategic decision-making system, Russia suffered from the error of “overconfidence” and considering the reaction of the West during the occupation of Crimea in 2014, thought that this pattern could be extended to the entire Ukraine.
The professor of international relations stated that based on the developments in the world today and its trends, the possibility of Cold War alignments is not high, adding: From 1947 to 1991, that is to say 44 years of the Cold War, more than half of the time, there were serious tensions between China and Russia, which finally, led to the improvement of China’s relationship with the US. Most of the analysts who talk about the repetition of the alignments of the Cold War mean the formation of a world where the US, Western Europe and their allies are on one side and Russia and the allies on the other side, but our world today is far more complicated than during the Cold War.
Attar reminded that in November 2022, Russia exported 1 million and 800 thousand barrels of oil to China per day, and at the same time, the volume of trade between China and the United States was 690 billion dollars, of which more than 536 billion dollars was the export of Chinese goods to the United States, adding: From the point of view of international political economy, we are facing a highly interconnected and cooperation-seeking world that works with the economic engine of the US capitalism and, in the next stage, Chinese capitalism.
According to the analyst of international affairs; from the point of view of security and international relations, we are facing a multi-polar world with the relative hegemony of the United States. Paying attention to the adjective “relative” is important because the US cannot achieve its objectives without forming international coalitions, and this is exactly what the US is doing in the face of Russia.
Attar pointed to the remarks of the president of Russia regarding formation of an international payment system and increasing cooperation with India, China and Iran and added: Russia and China and of course several other countries, especially the BRICS countries have been making half-hearted efforts for years to create an international payment system, which has not yet reached a definite result. The financial and banking system of the world, which is centered on SWIFT, covers dollar transactions, and currently a large part of the transactions of more than 11,000 banks and financial institutions in the world from 200 countries and regions are done with dollars, and no other payment system has been able to handle even one fifth of this volume of transactions.
He emphasized: Perhaps this issue is the wish of the Russians today in their conflicts with the West and a long-term goal for countries like China, but currently, unfortunately the world revolves around dollar and it seems unlikely that the war in Ukraine will bring about a serious change in this regard.